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Remarkable story behind Australia's best-kept secret: 'Heard rumours'

Few are aware of it but many had heard gossip about the 'world-class drawcard' in the hills of the NSW Central Coast.

At the end of an unassuming long driveway, padlocked behind a rusty steel gate and nestled among the foothills of a sleepy NSW town, lies one of Australia's best-kept secrets.

Concealed from street view and only accessible to those in the know, every race car enthusiasts dream sits quietly on the outskirts of Kulnura — a Central Coast hinterland town with an Indigenous name that literally translates to "up in the clouds".

The tiny town, home to just under 600 people, isn't well-known nor is it much of a tourist hotspot, but it does have one major drawcard that few are aware of, but many have "heard rumours about" — its very own private world-class racetrack known as The Farm.

A view of a driveway and gate are seen at the entrance to The Farm racetrack at Kulnura.
The Farm racetrack track lies hidden behind a rusty old gate, down a long driveway. Source: Google Maps.

'Heard the rumours'

Built in the late '90s at a reported cost of about $10 million by a former Coca-Cola executive, and once dubbed the "second-best race track in the world", the privately-owned estate features a 5.1 kilometre Formula One-style track, with 22 turns, including two straights measuring approximately 550 metres each.

Rumour has it Coca-Cola Amatil boss Dean Wills, who died aged 89 last year, built the track for himself after he lost his licence for speeding on the old Pacific Highway in 1996.

He was believed to have wanted a space to enjoy his "growing fleet of exotic cars" — which at the time included the only McLaren race car ever sold privately — without having to worry about outsiders or traffic restrictions, The Daily Telegraph reported in 2012.

According to the publication, Mr Wills' son, Mark, said "we really needed somewhere" to go to drive "where we wouldn't get into life-threatening situations".

"Safety was the most important thing, to be able to enjoy driving in the way manufacturers designed the cars to be driven without on-coming cars or cyclists," he said.

"We don't do lap times, the only way we measure it is how long the smile lasts."

Mr Wills explained at the time the track was intentionally built as a country road, without ripple strips, gravel run-off areas or even barriers. Guests — who cannot book on their own and instead need to be invited — must adhere to strict road rules including, paradoxically, "no racing".

An aerial view of the track is seen on Google Maps.
It's nestled among the hills at Kulnura, on the NSW Central Coast.

The track is said to have standard road signs installed along the five kilometre stretch, showing recommended corner speeds.

'You'd never know it was there'

"You ordinarily would not be able to tell that it was a track," said Patrick Honeine, a self-described car enthusiast who was lucky enough to visit a few years back.

Mr Honeine told Yahoo News Australia that he'd heard chatter among the motoring community that the estate existed, but it wasn't until he was invited on a special trip that he had confirmation himself.

"I'd heard the rumours," Mr Honeine explained.

"You wouldn't even be able to tell it was a track because there's no runoff room, there's no barriers or anything like that — it's just beautiful."

The NSW man said "you'd never know" it was there without prior knowledge.

"You've literally got to drive down a road, what looks like it's basically coming to a dead end, and then the actual property itself sits, I wouldn't say on a hill, but as you drive in, you can't really see it from the road.

"All you see is basically the road come to an end".

With an extensive catalogue of supercars on offer, Mr Honeine said the track was truly like none-other.

A view of the course is seen.
According to rumours, people may only attend after receiving an invite. Source: The Daily Telegraph.

"When we got up there, lo and behold, they had a whole bunch of cars, mostly supercars. They had World Rally (WRC) cars, there was an Evo, a WRX. Then there was a McLaren, you had a Lambo, there was a couple of Porsches as well, and then an Aston Martin."

Mr Honeine said he'd heard that some racing legends had even driven there in said cars. According to reports, those who had taken laps at the hideaway include champion former motorcyclist world champion Casey Stoner, the "Flying Scot" Sir Jackie Stewart and Formula One legend Jack Brabham.

Property sold but still hosting invited drivers

Mark Wills, former racing champion Wayne Gardner apparently once described the road as his second-favourite circuit in the world, behind Suzuka in Japan.

Realestate records show the property sold in 2020 for $7.5 million via a private sale. It was reportedly bought by a Porsche fanatic who hosts track days for invited Porsche drivers, limiting use to 12 cars per day. Owners of other luxury cars such as Ferraris and Aston Martins continue to score invites to the track while it has also hosted launch events for the likes of Yamaha.

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